Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019 - 18 of Elul, 5779

Former British PM Tony Blair: Some of Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks can only be explained through Antisemitism

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TEL AVIV— Some of Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks can only be explained through Antisemitism, said former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair at a gala event organized by Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv.

In answer to a question about whether he thinks the British Labour Party leader is anti-Semitic, he said: ‘’Some of the remarks are not explicable in any other way,” adding that, even though “he doesn’t think he is at all.”

“If he does not defeat antisemitism and root it out, it will imperil the Labour Party, and it should,” said Blair, in conversation with Israeli television presenter and journalist Yonit Levi.

“The row over Antisemitism is shameful. Antisemitism must be confronted as soon as you see it, because it is a poison throughout society that must be rooted out and eradicated,” Blair stressed.

He also spoke about the need to reframe the global misconceptions about Zionism and Israel.

He said: “There is an urgent need for people to go out and explain to a new generation of younger people what Zionism is. Many people don’t know what it means, but for them it is a word that would denote something that is criticized rather than something you would accept, understand and even support. The other point of view has to be put, the argument has to be made forcefully, especially by people outside of Israeli and the Jewish community.”

“Israel’s security is about our security in the West, and it is important that we support Israel, which is a nation, but it is also an idea. What Israel and the Jewish community around the world stand for are creativity, innovation and giving back,” Blair said.

He said that he can’t think of any other community that does more for philanthropy, using David Dangoor, a major supporter of the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism and other centers at Bar-Ilan University, and elsewhere, as an example.

“Investing in Israel is not just an investment in the people and innovation that is being created here, but an investment in mankind’s future,”  David Dangoor said during his speech, talking about the importance of the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Universal Monotheism. “The Centre has a mission of great contemporary relevance; a bridge between different peoples, different traditions, different worldviews, and in a sense, different worlds.”

“A decade ago, my father of blessed memory, Sir Naim Dangoor, proposed that the university take a universal message far beyond the borders of Israel, a message about the ultimate unity of humankind.”


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